COVID-19 has been linked to a greater risk of developing mental health disorders, a new study from Britain’s Oxford University states.
The report published in The Lancet peer-reviewed medical journal found that 20 percent of COVID-19 survivors, or 1 in 5, will receive a first-time mental health diagnosis within 90 days of infection. Among the most common are anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, insomnia and dementia.
“People have been worried that COVID-19 survivors will be at greater risk of mental health problems, and our findings … show this to be likely,” Oxford professor of psychiatry Paul Harrison said, according to Reuters.
The Oxford study evaluated health records of 69 million people in the United States, more than 60,000 of whom had been diagnosed with coronavirus. It also found correlations between preexisting psychiatric disorders and an increased chance of contracting coronavirus.
Those previously diagnosed with mental health problems were 65 percent more likely to test positive for COVID-19. A similar correlation exists with other infections, including pneumonia.
Patients already diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, depression and schizophrenia were among those most likely to receive a positive coronavirus diagnosis, the study found.